An Act establishing the "New Jersey Tax and Fiscal Policy Study Commission" to study the State and local tax structure and related fiscal issues, supplementing Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


C.52:9H-39  "New Jersey Tax and Fiscal Policy Study Commission”; membership.

     1.  a.  There is established a commission in but not of the Department of the Treasury to be known as the "New Jersey Tax and Fiscal Policy Study Commission."  The commission shall consist of nine members, of whom five shall be appointed by the Governor, and one shall be appointed by each of the President of the Senate, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the General Assembly, and the Assembly Minority Leader.

     b.    In appointing the commission members, the appointing authorities shall select academic and business and other professionals who have knowledge and practical experience in tax policy, implementation, practice, administration and regulation and in governmental finance and fiscal management.  No member shall be a nominee for, or hold, an elective office, other than on a local board of education, and no member shall be the head of a principal department of State government or hold cabinet-level rank.

     c.     Members of the commission shall serve for a term of four years, except that of the appointments first made to the commission by the Governor, two of the appointments shall serve for a term of two years, and except that the appointments first made by the Senate Minority Leader and the Assembly Minority Leader shall be for a term of two years.  The term of each member shall be deemed to commence on July 1 of the calendar year of the appointment and shall expire on June 30 of the second or fourth calendar year thereafter, as the case may be for the first or subsequent appointments, but members shall continue to serve during a succeeding term until the appointment and qualification of a successor.  Any vacancy during a term shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment but only for the balance of the unexpired term.  Members shall be eligible for reappointment to successive terms.  Any member of the commission may be removed for cause by the Governor.  The members shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, subject to the availability of funds therefor.

     d.    The commission shall organize as soon as may be practicable following the appointment of its members, to elect a chairperson, and to select a secretary, who need not be a member of the commission.  The commission may formulate and adopt rules of procedure and operation in furtherance of its responsibilities.  The commission may divide itself into such subcommittees and task forces, which task forces may include persons other than members of the commission such as academics, government officers or professionals, and may enter into such cooperative arrangements with academic or research institutions, as it deems necessary to accomplish its purposes.  Persons serving on task forces other than members of the commission shall serve at the appointment of the chairperson and shall be non-voting participants in the task forces.  The commission may meet and hold hearings at such places and times as it shall designate.


C.52:9H-40  Duties of commission.

     2.    The commission shall engage in a continuous study of the State and local tax structure and related fiscal issues with regard to the laws relating to the imposition, assessment and collection of State and local taxes, with attention given, but not limited to: the ways in which the tax laws may be revised to ensure greater efficiency and equity in the assessment and collection of taxes; the identification and quantification of provisions that represent revenue policy and provisions that reflect indirect expenditure policy; the relative incidence of tax burdens and the effects of redistributing tax burdens or tax bases; and the methods for providing funds for government services and infrastructure.

     The commission shall report annually on or before January 1 to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature summarizing its activities in the prior year and its planned activities for the current year and shall submit interim reports setting forth the results of its studies and making such recommendations of legal, administrative and organizational changes as the committee determines are appropriate.

     The commission shall also make any appropriate studies, subject to the limitations of the commission’s resources, that are requested by the Governor, the President of the Senate, or the Speaker of the General Assembly, notifying each of those officers of any request made by another.


C.52:9H-41  Executive director, staff, availability of services.

     3.  a.  The commission shall be entitled to appoint an executive director and a staff and to call to its assistance and avail itself of the services of employees of any State, county or municipal department, board, bureau, commission or agency or authority as it may require and as may be available to it for its purposes, and to employ counsel and contract for professional and consulting services, and employ any stenographic and clerical assistants, and incur traveling and other miscellaneous expenses as it may deem necessary, in order to perform its duties, and as may be within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for its purposes.

     b.  The commission may make use of existing studies, surveys, data and other materials in the possession of any State agency or authority and such materials in the possession of any county, municipality or political subdivision of the State, other than the records and files of the Director of the Division of Taxation that are confidential under R.S.54:50-8, but may direct the Director of the Division of Taxation to prepare for publication statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of a particular report and the items thereof.  Each State agency, authority, county, municipality and political subdivision of the State shall make any information or materials available to the commission as it may require to perform its responsibilities under this act.


     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.


     Approved February 21, 2007.